Birmingham: Snapshot of natural gas leaks under city streets

Leaked natural gas — mostly methane — is a powerful contributor to climate change.

Explore Birmingham map data

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Findings

Our readings indicated an average of about one leak for every two miles we drove within the study areas.

Readings are from March through May 2017, and may not reflect current leaks, due to repairs or other changes.

If you ever smell gas, or have any reason to suspect a problem, experts say to immediately exit the building or area, then call the authorities. For more see the Spire's safety page.


About Birmingham's natural gas infrastructure

  • Utility: Birmingham is serviced by Spire. We have shared all data with Spire, including any incidentally recorded leak points observed outside designated drive areas shown on the map.
  • Pipe materials: About 900 miles of mains operated by Spire are made from cast iron or other leak-prone material.
  • Age of pipes: About 40% of Spire's mains were installed before 1970.
  • Progress: From 2015 to 2016, Spire reduced its leak backlog by 38%, and their cast iron pipeline mileage by 9%. With more support from the Alabama Public Service Commission, Alabama's utilities can begin to address their leak backlogs and leak prone pipe inventories more efficiently.

Live in Birmingham? Ask officials to address leaks

Birmingham has an opportunity to better address methane leaks. Tell the Alabama Public Service Commission that this matters to you.

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If you don't live in Birmingham, find out how you can help.